THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

Scientific Methods As Applied To Child Education In "the Children's Houses"

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MANUAL LABOUR                        163
much as plastic work, as I shall show later, serves for the study of the psychic individuality of the child in his spontaneous manifestations, but not for his education.
I decided therefore to try in the " Children's Houses " some very interesting exercises which I had seen accom­plished by an artist, Professor Randone, in the " School of Educative Art" founded by him. This school had its origin along with the society for young people, called Giovinezza Gentile, both school and society having the object of educating youth in gentleness towards their sur­roundings— that is, in respect for objects, buildings, monuments: a really important part of civil education, and one which interested me particularly on account of the " Children's Houses," since that institution has, as its fundamental aim, to teach precisely this respect for the walls, for the house, for the surroundings.
Very suitably, Professor Randone had decided that the society of Giovinezza Gentile could not be based upon sterile theoretical preachings of the principles of citizen­ship, or upon moral pledges taken by the children; but that it must proceed from an artistic education which should lead the youth to appreciate and love, and conse­quently respect, objects and especially monuments and his­toric buildings. Thus the " School of Educative Art" was inspired by a broad artistic conception including the reproduction of objects which are commonly met in the surroundings; the history and pre-history of their produc­tion, and the illustration of the principal civic monuments which, in Rome, are in large measure composed of ar-chseological monuments. In order the more directly to accomplish his object, Professor Randone founded his admirable school in an opening in one of the most artistic parts of the walls of Rome, namely, the wall of Belisarius,
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